Friday, October 29, 2010

Disability studies professor Jim Ferris presents "Scars: A Love Story" in Toledo

From University of Toledo:

Most people have a few scars. Whether it’s from falling off a bike or major surgery, most people have had their fair share of bumps and bruises.

Dr. Jim Ferris, the Ability Center of Greater Toledo Endowed Chair in Disability Studies, will look at what our scars may have to tell us in his one-man show, “Scars: A Love Story,” which will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, and Saturday, Oct. 30, in the Center for Performing Arts Studio Theatre.

“Scars are things that we all have,” he said. “They mark us and distinguish us, but they are something we share. They not only bridge our wounds, they connect us to the human experience — maybe even to each other.”

“Scars: A Love Story” combines poetry, visual arts and music into a form that Ferris calls a “post-contemporary” performance. The show includes photographs of scars that Ferris collected from people around campus.

“Every scar has a story. It’s amazing how asking about people’s scars brings those stories out,” Ferris said. “Scars are universal. They are a part of living.”

The show will look at how scars from years past still impact people today. Ferris, associate professor of communication and director of the Disability Studies Program, contends that scars also can lead to stigma, a simple explanation to human fear and ignorance.

“We make assumptions when we see things, whether it is a scar or a disability. We wind up making judgments, and those judgments can outweigh other characteristics,” Ferris said.

To see how scars impact perception both literally and metaphorically, stop by the free, public performances this week or at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, when Ferris again will perform “Scars: A Love Story.”